If you don’t have much time in Thailand, but still want to experience a fine beach not far from Bangkok, Koh Samed is the place for you. Take a 3-hour drive and around 40 minutes on the ferry, and then you can enjoy the beautiful, calm beach and abundant, green nature of Koh Samed.
Koh Samed or Samed Island is a part of Khao Laem Ya – Mu Koh Samed National Park, located in Tambon Pae, Amphoe Muang, Rayong. What attracts people to Samed is its white, powdery sand beach and crystal clear water. You can also find many water activities that fit all styles and interest from snorkeling, Jet Ski, cruising around the island and nearby isles or night fishing and more.
Koh Samed also features a famous work of Thai literature called “Phra Apai Manee” created by Sunthorn Phu, declared a world poet by UNESCO, so you can spot some statues of mythical creatures, crafted from the stories, like mermaids or giants on the island.
There are several nice beaches around the island for you to choose from as well as various types of accommodation that serve every need and budget.
Hat Sai Kaew or Sai Kaew Beach is the most famous and longest beach on Samed. Along its 800-meter beach, you can find almost every kind of entertainment from water sports to restaurants to accommodations and nightlife leisure.
Another popular, but less busy beach located next to Sai Kaew Beach, is Ao Phai (Phai Bay). There are rocks scattered along the white sand beach offering a contrasting and atmospheric landscape.
Go further down to the middle of the island, you will find a beautiful crescent moon-shaped beach called Ao Wong Duen (Wong Duen Bay), offering visitors a relaxed atmosphere with an extensive list of accommodation and restaurants.
Lung Dam Bay is for those who love to relax in a quieter atmosphere with local ambience. This bay is not only famous for its smooth, sandy beach, but also an old wooden bridge that conjures up a picturesque postcard view. Not far from the beach is a viewpoint where you can enjoy the sunset.
Another recommended place is Ao Giew (Giew Bay) which has two areas called “Ao Giew Na Nai” with one of the best viewpoints on the island, and “Ao Giew Na Nok” where you can see both sunrise and sunset on the same bay.
Located at the end of Samed is Ao Pakarang (Coral Bay) which is another beautiful sunset viewpoint and a great spot for snorkeling.
Ao Prao (Prao Bay) located on the west offers visitors a secluded, long white sandy beach and the best view of the sunset on the island.
It is possible to visit Samed all year round but the best time is from October to May when the sea is calm and clear. You can travel to Koh Samed from Pattaya by bus, minivan
or taxi to Banphe pier. From Bangkok, you can take a bus from Ekkamai Eastern Bus Terminal (Bangkok – Banphe route) or Mo Chit Bus Terminal which takes about 4 hours to the pier. Another option is to take a minivan, departing from Victory Monument to Banphe pier which takes about 3 hours.